Public Protector’s Strategic Plan approved by Portfolio Committee
The Public Protector’s strategic plan for 2010-2013 was presented to and approved by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development in Parliament, Cape Town on Tuesday.
Presenting the document, Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela undertook to strengthen access to the services of her office by all persons and communities and ensure that her office is trusted by all. She also committed her office to take prompt responses and urgent resolution of complaints.
To achieve these, Adv Madonsela, who was accompanied by Deputy Public Protector Mamiki Shai, CEO Themba Mthethwa, CFO Jevio Mculu and the Management Team, told committee members that she had restructured her office by introducing three new business units in order to be better positioned it to meet set strategic objectives.
The new units are Good Governance and Integrity, Service Delivery, and Intake and Early Resolution. They are geared towards effectively strengthening the office’s effort to promote good governance in the conduct of state affairs, improve service delivery by state organs and render prompt remedial action.
Adv Madonsela, however, highlighted that inadequate human and capital resources remain a challenge for the successful implementation of the strategy. She told the committee that a huge chunk of the institution’s budget went to staff salaries and that all its 63 investigators across the country were over-burdened, resulting in a backlog of cases.
The committee committed to take the discussion on the request for additional funding forward.
On another key challenge of non-cooperation by some state organs and authorities regarding investigations, Adv Madonsela informed the committee that her office is engaged in drafting rules for subpoenas as required by law. The rules will be ready by June 2010.
She also invited all political parties represented in Parliament to submit complaints they think the Public Protector should investigate, explaining that she mostly receives complaints from the Democratic Alliance and the Congress of the People.
Responding to a question on whether she only focused on assisting municipalities affected by violent service delivery protests, Madonsela said she also intervened in other municipalities such as Buffalo City, Eastern Cape; Sol Plaatjie, Northern Cape and various other municipalities in Limpopo.